05 December 2018

Newly discovered cave in BC might be largest ever found in Canada

In March 2018, while conducting a caribou census in Wells Gray Provincial Park, a helicopter crew from the province's Ministry of Environment and Climate Change discovered an unusual feature in the area. The amazing new discovery starts a dramatic new chapter for Canadian cave exploration.

Geologist Catherine Hickson visited the cave back in September. "It's about the size of a soccer field. So if you think of a soccer field and you put that soccer field on its end so you have this pit going down.  Think about this giant circular or oval hole that just goes down and down. It is truly amazing."

Read more about the finding on Global News or CBC.

(sources Global News and CBC)


02 June 2017 

Prince George Search and Rescue is pleased to announce the start of our availability to provide Helicopter Long Line Rescue.

Prince George Search and Rescue (PGSAR) supports Police, Fire and Ambulance look for those missing and rescue those who are stranded or injured. PGSAR has a number of specialty teams to support emergency services such as Swiftwater, Avalanche, Rope and Tracking. Helicopter Long Line Rescue was a need identified in the northern part of the province. The closest provincial resource is in the Okanagan. PGSAR has been working on this program since May, 2015. It will complement the other specialty rescue teams PGSAR offers in the region.

Helicopter Long Line Rescue, is a well-recognized rescue technique practiced throughout BC, and the world. The team members are trained to be harnessed to a rope, attached to a helicopter. It is capable of transporting or “slinging” a rescuer and a subject into and out of the steep, heavily forested mountainous terrain that we have surrounding Prince George.

“It’s very gratifying and proud accomplishment for PGSAR to be in a position to have a Helicopter long line rescue system as an another valuable rescue tool.” said Jeff Smedley, PGSAR Search Manager “The commitment of our volunteer members, hours of hard work and training has definitely paid off for the team. Fundraising, training and meeting provincial guidelines has taken a lot of work. This newly minted team is made up of 10 members who will continue to train to meet the standards set out by Transport Canada, Emergency Management BC and the British Columbia Search and Rescue Association. The group has been training since November 2016, with the funding of the $90,000 from the Province of BC."

PGSAR has trained 10 members, purchased the equipment, formed a partnership with Yellowhead Helicopters and became operational as of June 1st, 2017.  The Helicopter Long Line Rescue members will offer rescue services during any time of the year.

This tool will be available to support SAR operations in Northern BC. This is the first long line rescue team based in North Central British Columbia allowing rapid access and evacuation of injured subjects, and quick responses to a rescuer who may need assistance. This program will increase the safety of the team, and the people we rescue.

Prince George Search and Rescue joins 12 other SAR groups in BC capable of this type of rescue.

16 March 2017

Yellowhead Helicopters Ltd. (YHL) moves to Spidertracks Flight Following System

British Columbia based helicopter operator, Yellowhead Helicopters, has completed their fleet transition to Spidertracks aircraft management devices. 

Yellowhead's Director of Operations Sean Rickards says after a detailed review of our fleet tracking requirements it was a logical decision to go with the Spidertracks flight following system.

“Spidertracks meets our expectations and commitment to system safety in all areas of our day to day operations. Knowing that if our people had a problem, we could know about it right away no matter where they are is basic safety management. 

We are very pleased with the support provided by Spidertracks during this transition along with the ease of install, ease of use and savings realized.

Spidertracks' CEO, Dave Blackwell says Yellowhead's feedback is encouraging and indicative of the market's growing appetite for smarter aircraft management in Canada.

"We're excited to be able to provide Yellowhead, and a number of similar operators across Canada, the peace of mind and productivity gains that the Spidertracks system delivers. It is highly competitive industry they are operating in where every cent must count.”

“Now 10 years old, Spidertracks is fast evolving with the technologies available and with the requirements of the industry, but the fundamental driver of our success remains - a delightfully simple product philosophy and an outstanding team of people that take it to the world with their hearts and souls."

For more information, contact Todd O’Hara on +64 21 1864111 or

Spidertracks Company Description:

Spidertracks are a New Zealand-based aircraft software company who provide smart and simple solutions that enable aircraft operators to make better decisions with their assets. Spidertracks provide situational awareness and business insight through their suite of business tools which include real-time aircraft tracking, global two-way messaging, an emergency management framework, and aircraft and pilot scheduling.

Yellowhead Company Description:

Established in 1975, Yellowhead Helicopters is a well-respected, privately-held Canadian company that provides commercial helicopter solutions to the public, industry and government. From bases strategically located throughout British Columbia and Alberta they actively support industries including forestry, mining, petroleum, utility and tourism.

Through well-planned growth, Yellowhead continues to renew and update its services and equipment to keep pace with the ever-changing demands of these important Canadian industries.


Yellowhead Helicopters is excited to announce that Eagle Copters has started the conversion of one of the two Bell 407’s YHL operates to the Eagle 407HP.

The EAGLE 407HP will replace the Rolls Royce C47 engine with a Honeywell HST900D-2 engine by virtue of the STC approval process. In simple terms, the sea level horsepower of both engines is the same but the HST900D-2 maintains that power level at a higher altitude. This therefore improves Bell 407 performance characteristics in high temperature / high altitude operating environments as well as mission capability and safety. Among the standout advantages the Bell 407HP offers to operators seeking even better performance from the Bell 407— considered to be one of the most versatile helicopters in operation today—the Eagle 407HP conversion introduces increased shaft horsepower, ultimately improving the payload capability of the helicopter and resulting in an increased capability over a wider operating spectrum. Additional key benefits provided by the Eagle Copters conversion include increased speed, reduced fuel consumption, and the incorporation of a true dual-channel FADEC engine control system.

Check out the link below to see the advantages the Eagle 407HP will offer to our customers.



In other exciting news, Yellowhead Helicopters Ltd. has worked out a deal with Eagle to supply YHL with two Eagle 212 Singles.

This aircraft will be a welcome addition to YHL’s medium fleet of Bell 205A1++’s and Bell 212HP BLR’s that we already operate.

Press release from Eagle Copters -

Eagle Copters Ltd. has announced it has signed longtime customer and industry veteran Yellowhead Helicopters Ltd. to a multiple helicopter transaction. The deal will see Yellowhead operate two Eagle 407HPs, powered by the Honeywell HTS900 engine and also an Eagle Single, the Honeywell T53 powered single engine version of the Bell 212.

“Yellowhead Helicopters is excited to take delivery of these upgraded aircraft from Eagle Copters Ltd. With the engine and airframe upgrades to these proven Bell platforms, these helicopters will be added to the current fleet of 35 helicopters and enhance our ability to provide services to our customers,” said Jacob Forman, CEO and accountable executive for Yellowhead Helicopters. 

Forman went on to say that the Eagle 407HP performance is hard to ignore and the results of the past fire season have proven the platform. “We look forward to the extra power and payload that the Eagle 407HP offers. The enhanced safety of the dual channel FADEC [full authority digital engine control], the fuel savings and resultant reduction in CO2 emissions are also qualities that our company embraces,” he said. 

“We have been looking forward to the Eagle Single for a long time. The 11,200-pound gross weight, ease of maintenance, and lower empty weight offers us and our customers a distinct advantage.”

Eagle has built 12 Eagle Singles to date while amassing over 12,000 hours on the fleet.

“We highly appreciate Yellowhead Helicopters looking to Eagle Copters for their helicopter solutions, especially choosing those that differentiate themselves,” said Barry Kohler, president and CEO for Eagle Copters. “We are proud to develop and repurpose these helicopters, while at the same time building in competitive benefits our customers demand, which is critically important with today’s business climate.”

Kohler also noted that both companies started in 1975 and has served its’ respective clients well for over 40 years.

Alpine Aerotech delivers two refurbished Bell 212HPs to Yellowhead Helicopters

YHL refurb heli.jpg